Top Event Tech Trends for 2018

January 2, 2018

Jay Tokosch

Jay Tokosch is the CEO of Core-Apps, a technology provider and mobile software company for the trade show and events industry.

You’re either with the robots or you’re not with the robots – choose wisely. The robot revolution is coming and it will impact the event space. Well...maybe not in 2018, but there are certainly technology trends that event professionals should be aware of in their strategic planning for 2018 and beyond.

To help organizers prepare for the future, we put together a blog series that will cover the top trends we’re seeing and insight on how to make the most of new technologies for your events.

One of the top overall event tech trends we’re seeing for 2018 is engagement. But what does that mean for your show? Strategizing about how to bring the right type of engagement through technology for your events can be a challenge, but here are some tips that can help you focus in on the best use of digital engagement for your audience.

The concept of engagement was up across the board in 2017. But we think technology should enable engagement, not get in the way of the user experience. Consider enhancing your event with “hidden” technology and tools that attendees find so easy to use and compelling, that they’re second nature and considered a part of the overall experience.

Consider adding audience engagement tools, including:

  • Live Polling: spark feedback, ideas and a dialogue at your presentations or ancillary events
  • Audience Q&A: Your attendees are there to learn. Don’t stifle their inquisitiveness by not maintaining a constant feedback loop through live participation, social media or even
  • “Ask Me Anything”: From speakers and special quests that can play out on social media, too.

Increased Event App Engagement:

  • Audio Tours: An event app feature that allows Event Organizers to create customized, museum-quality audio tours to highlight showfloor categories and exhibitors
  • Enhanced First-Timer Tools: If your attendees don’t know where to go or what’s next, you’re likely creating unnecessary stress and therefore, a poor attendee experience. Let technology take over, lose the help desk and consider getting your entire audience on the event app, where interactive wayfinding and in-apps alerts are a powerful and accessible companion.
  • Access 365: Our tool for enabling year-round engagement through your event app
  • Conference Notes: Enables second-screen engagement, note taking and more through the event app
  • Leverage Post-Event Follow-Up: Exhibitors and attendees want real-time engagement, not follow up weeks after an event. Prime your marketing automation tools for prospect nurturing directly after an event ends.

Trending:

  • Panel Pickers: This is user-generated conference content at its best, SXSW style: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/
  • Unconferences: Defined as a participant-driven meeting for events that are attempting to avoid one or more aspects of a conventional conference, also called an Open Conference.
  • “Choose Your Own Adventure” conference tracks

Takeaways: It’s About Communication

Remember, technology is just a tool but make sure you use the right tools for your event profile. Consider asking your team the following as you evaluate the right technology mix for your events:

  • Does it add to the experience?
  • Does it improve the experience?
  • Don’t ask what’s new. Why? Because it may lead you down the shiny object rabbit hole. Instead, focus on what is meaningful for your event profile.
  • Does it help us communicate?
  • Is it consistent with the goals of the event?
  • Does it fit within the theme of the event?
  • Does it make the attendee’s life better in some way?

Consider forming an Event Technology Council for your organization to help your team vet out emerging trends and also to gain a group consensus on your overall event tech investments.

Next up, we’ll take a deep dive into real-world use cases for AR/VR in the event space.

Want to find out more about our other event tech predictions for 2018? Visit our webinar HERE.

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